Will the real Tonino Lamborghini please stand up?
Everybody loves a good patent dispute, right? Well no, actually, we don’t. Especially if the patent in question was for an obscure brand that was plastered onto a completely unrelated and altogether different product that would take no benefit from the name nor technologies involved. We’re talking about Globe’s Tonino Lamborghini HSPA+ internet sticks, launched this June with a supposed ceiling speed of 10Mbps. (1,000Kb/sec) If the name doesn’t ring any bells in the 3G industry that’s because it’s a luxury watch brand – and not even the exotic sportscar brand. However the trademark license was never altogether acquired by Globe, or was it? Drama ensues and now the Philippine internet is abuzz with a silly battle of soap opera proportions.
Globe launched the Tonino Lamborghini sticks early in June to some marketing fanfare, including a prominent TV and billboard ad of a racecar driver dude driving a Lamborghini car (fast car = fast internet?) and then it transforms into the branded HSPA+ internet sticks. (HSPA+ is technically an evolved version of 3G and is unofficially called 4G due to its speeds.) Now, the Tonino Lamborghini company is a luxury accessory brand started by a person of the same name. Ferruccio Lamborghini is the father of Tonino and at some point in the 60’s, he started the Automobili Lamborghini sportscar brand. This company has been through many a bankruptcy in the past and is now completely owned by Audi and has no relation with any living or dead Lamborghini family members. This means that Tonino, even if his father started the sportscar brand, isn’t related at all to the line of exotic demons from Italy. Why then is the Globe Tonino ad using said car in a misleading approach to promote a 3G/4G stick that is actually named after a luxury watch? We don’t know, but let’s just call it creative marketing.
But that’s not even the start of why there’s drama involved – this was just our comment on the ads surrounding it. What’s now the topic of many a tech site today is the patent dispute started by Tonino stating that the trademark name and license was never granted for Globe to use. Which then prompted the internet to explode. Globe then claims that they did acquire the name from their licensing company in Singapore. This is then followed by rumors that Globe has pulled the 4G sticks off the market, then another claiming that the recall was false. So who are we supposed to believe? Are we even supposed to care?
Frankly we think this whole dispute is a complete waste of our time. First of all, Globe shouldn’t have bothered naming their sticks over a luxury timepiece brand (or even the Singapore based mobile phone / laptop licensee Tonino brand), then mislead its customers to think its related to the exotic car maker in the first place. There’s no point. Neither Tonino Lamborghini nor Automobili Lamborghini are related to any 3G internet sticks. They offer much of nothing to the technology except the name – and to smart people that wouldn’t mean squat. That’s like calling a burger the Intel Sandy Bridge Burger, or calling a panty liner the Apple iPad. Oh, wait.
But we digress. This whole hoopla over a name is wasting our bandwidth and brain attics. It’s stupid, plain and simple. First of all, we hope this teaches us that first, don’t pick up misleading names for your technology; Second, if someone is in a patent dispute over said name, don’t overreact. There’s bigger things in the world to talk about than a 3G/4G stick which may or may not be infringing on stupid unrelated name trademarks. We pick our internet sticks based on its speed and performance and not its name, right?
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